Today’s Announcements & News
On Monday, Asia-Pacific markets showed mixed performance as investors awaited important economic data from the region, including inflation figures from Malaysia and Singapore.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index increased by 0.95% at the start of the week, while the Topix also rose by 0.57%. Private surveys for Japan’s purchasing managers’ index in July are also set to be released.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.13%. However, the country saw flash estimates for its composite PMI in July fall into contraction territory for the first time since March, signaling potential economic challenges.
South Korea’s Kospi index experienced a decline of 0.44%, while the Kosdaq suffered a loss of 1.07% after reaching its highest level since April 2022 last week.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index appeared to be starting the week on a lower note, with futures trading at 18,953 compared to the HSI’s last close of 19,560.57.
On Sunday evening, S&P 500 futures showed little change as investors awaited key earnings reports and a major policy decision from the Federal Reserve.
Futures tied to the broad market index were slightly down by 0.07%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures declined by 37 points. However, Nasdaq 100 futures saw a slight increase of 0.03%.
During the previous week, the Dow managed to secure a small gain of 2.51 points, marking its 10th consecutive day of higher closes, the longest streak since 2017. The S&P 500 finished the week with a 0.7% increase, closing at 4,536.34, while the Nasdaq Composite experienced a 0.6% decline, settling at 14,032.81.
Analysts noted that investor sentiment is starting to lean slightly bearish, and there might be a trend of flat or lower market performance as investors consider selling some of their investments to lock in gains achieved during the year. Profit-taking is expected to be part of the investor mindset, especially for those who have seen remarkable year-to-date returns from tech and FAANG stocks, as stated by Tom Lee, a strategist at Fundstrat.
On Monday, oil prices saw a slight decline as traders awaited further cues on rate hikes from central banks in the U.S. and Europe. However, Brent crude remained supported at $80 a barrel due to tightening supply and hopes for Chinese stimulus.
Brent crude futures dipped 41 cents, or 0.5%, to $80.66 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $76.70 a barrel, down 37 cents, or 0.5%.
Last week, both benchmarks saw gains of 1.5% and 2.2% respectively, marking their fourth consecutive week of gains. The expected tightening of supply following OPEC+ cuts contributed to the positive trend. Additionally, tensions in Ukraine escalated after Russia withdrew from a U.N.-brokered safe sea corridor agreement for grain exports, further impacting market sentiment.
Meanwhile, gold prices advanced to their highest level in about two months on Thursday, driven by the weakening U.S. dollar and growing expectations that the Federal Reserve would conclude its aggressive rate-hiking cycle at its meeting scheduled for the next week.
Spot gold gained 0.2% to $1,980.59 per ounce, nearing its highest level since May 17 at $1,987.39. U.S. gold futures also rose 0.2% to $1,984.10 per ounce.
The declining U.S. dollar and the anticipation of lower interest rates have provided a boost to gold, and the market is now targeting the psychologically significant $2,000 level, according to independent analyst Ross Norman. A weaker dollar makes gold more affordable for foreign buyers, and lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.
Gold prices have risen approximately 5% since the end of June when they hit over 3-month lows. Recent price gains have been largely driven by U.S. economic readings supporting the view that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by 25 basis points on July 26, marking the final increase of the current tightening cycle.
The above analysis is only for the views of market researchers and is for reference only and is not regarded as a specific investment suggestion.